Daniel lives on the Channel Island of Jersey and aspires to race in the Super League Triathlon there. He talks to Sundried about life as a young triathlete.
Have you always been into sport?
Yes, I’ve always been the sporty type. I was in a swimming club from a young age and I always wanted to be the best at my school's sports days. Now, I’m really keen on knowing the details about the human body, which also helps me in my training and what I can do to improve myself.
What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?
I have always been a keen swimmer and cyclist, even from when I was really young, but I never really knew what triathlon was back then. I completed my first triathlon in 2016 and loved every second of it and was urging my parents to let me join the local triathlon club. Recently, as Super League Triathlon has come to Jersey, it has increased my love for triathlon and I’m sure, everyone else’s too.
What’s been your favourite race to date and why?
My favourite race was Jersey Super Sprint Triathlon 2019 where each discipline of the race went the way I wanted it to go and I ended up finishing 8th. I came out the water in the second pack and with the weather on my side, I knew I could put my head down on the bike and just focus on moving up positions. It’s also because it's in the hub of St Helier and the home crowd along with my family and race partners pushed me on knowing that I could perform to my best on that day.
Have you ever had any racing disasters/your toughest race yet?
During one of my club duathlons, in the early stages of winter, it was looking like a hopeful race for me as I quite enjoy duathlon as both disciplines are my strongest… but this wasn’t the case for that day.
On the second lap of the bike, my wheels spun out underneath me and left me hitting my chin on the tarmac and I also slid on my left side at speed, resulting in painful road rash all down my left thigh and 5 stitches in my chin to attach it all together again.
This set me out of training for a long 2 weeks, but I had high hopes to start my rehab as soon as possible. I’m thankful for the variation of services that we have on the island to help me get back to my optimal level.
How do you overcome setbacks?
Everyone overcomes setbacks in their own different way, and for me, I just say to myself that I want to be quicker, stronger and fitter than I ever was before. This is also my motivation for my overall training, because if I feel tired and not interested in training on a specific day, I always think back to my saying which drives me to be active every day whether it be a heavy training day or just a light recovery session, I will most likely be doing something.
What advice do you wish you'd been given before you started competing?
Take every step slowly and don’t rush into things that you haven’t experienced before, which is what I wish I had known before I did my first sea swim within a triathlon. I experienced a mild panic attack because it was a whole a new experience. So, if I was giving advice for any newcomers to triathlon, I would say, just have fun with it for as long as you can before deciding to compete in races, eventually, the fun will come within those races when you are more experienced and are ready to race.
What are your goals for 2020?
My goals for 2020 are:
- Finish in 8th place or lower in Jersey Super Sprint Triathlon
- Drop my PBs for each discipline by around 1-2 minutes
- Qualify for Junior Elite races at Super League Jersey 2020, if not successful then finish in the top 10 within the age group races
- Become physically fitter for the new season
Who do you take your inspiration from?
I take my inspiration partly from all the pro athletes within the World Triathlon Series because they have gone from beginner to professional over a matter of years throughout their life… and from a local athlete called Ollie Turner who is also from Jersey. He also went from racing in club races in Jersey to training and racing with the pros at a young age and I always say to myself that that’s the potential level I would like to achieve in my triathlon career.
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?
The main reason I like Sundried is that it holds many different types of technology within its clothing such as sweat-wicking, temperature control and recycled fabrics which are important these days as there has been an increasing problem with plastic waste damaging the environment.